Advanced Topics in Leadership

In the 10th grade, all students work with the principles of leadership through multi-faceted seminars they choose to take. Students work in small groups to research and refine solutions that respond to a specific need they have identified in the world. Our aim is that every student will be involved in activities that foster resilience, promote healthy risk-taking, nourish passions, nurture curiosity, and promote purposefulness. For the upcoming school year, RPCS is pleased to offer the following advanced leadership seminar topics:
  • Improv through Listening and Empathy
  • Investing Challenge
  • Athletic Leadership Workshop
  • Ethics I and  II
  • Food Systems I and II 

Improv through Listening and Empathy
How might learning the skill of improv theater make us better listeners who are more empathetic and open to the ideas of others? Participants in this seminar will work towards the live performance of a longform improv set consisting of several completely improvised scenes based on a true monologue. Although audiences often reduce improv to a bunch of individuals being witty, this seminar will teach students to tap into their social, community-based instincts to listen, empathize, and cooperate with scene partners. We will learn to see improv as a collective work. Participants will play games and exercises to fine-tune their collaborative skills and enhance their self-confidence, as well as watch sets by experienced improvisers. At the final performance students would engage the audience in improv exercises and reflections on the craft they’ve learned. This seminar was developed and is taught by Upper School teacher Ethan Cooper. The seminar was so popular with the students who have taken it in the past that the Upper School will now have an improv club, with Mr. Cooper serving as the faculty sponsor.

Investing Challenge
Is it possible to be a socially responsible investor AND beat the market? This seminar provides our students with some financial tools, tips, and tricks to help them become both financially savvy as well as empowered. Utilizing the Wall Street Journal’s five part investing challenge framework, students will learn about markets and about risk and perseverance. Through scenarios and role play, students will develop an understanding of how to invest in the stock market, focusing on topics such as how to pick a stock and why diversification matters. The course will include investing basics and guest speakers from the financial industry, so it will be exciting and engaging for students no matter where our students are on their financial decision-making ability journey. This seminar was developed by RPCS Leadership Institute Coordinator Sarah Pope. Mrs. Pope is offering this seminar for the first time this year after her interest in the stock market was re-ignited by her participation in the Power Lunch series in the spring of 2021.

Food Systems I and II
How might we produce a sustainable version of your favorite meal? This seminar will culminate with a project in which students will study a single meal and learn about the impacts on people, the environment and/or climate from the farm to consumer. Students will then have two options for what to create: either a photography/marketing project creating information artwork to share their research on this topic or an entrepreneurship project where they will develop a business plan to sell their idea. In the course of creating those projects, we will explore sustainability in our food system including the impact of food on our environment and climate by investigating the journey our food takes from the farm to our plate. We will learn about the people who are behind our food system by visiting a local farm and restaurant to learn first-hand from entrepreneurs in Baltimore who work within our food system. And, perhaps most importantly, we will explore how these foods meet our own needs for nourishment and satisfaction. This seminar was developed by RPCS Garden Educator Cheryl Carmona. Ms. Carmona first taught this seminar in 2019 to two sections of upper school students, and has brought back the seminar each year due to popular demand.

Ethics I and II

This year-long course builds off the foundation set in ninth grade Ethics, offering students more time to debate ethical cases and prepare for the National High School Ethics Bowl. Students will dive deeper into the dominant ethical theories introduced in ninth grade Ethics–Utilitarianism, Kantism, Virtue Ethics, and Care Ethics–and continue on to Determinism, Libertarianism, Egoism, Regularianism, Confucian Ethics and Buddhist Ethics. Students will practice applying different modes of moral reasoning to classic and contemporary cases, learn how to construct and evaluate ethical arguments, strengthen logical reasoning skills, learn how to debate effectively, and practice the art of civil discourse.